Vibroseis Crew. Very mobile operation with medium size crew, 128 people. Acquired 3D seismic throughout the Patagonia of Argentina (see Arg. map ). Because of extreme weather conditions, freezing temperatures and gale force winds (120 kph), inhabitants are fairly scarce. Ostrich, guanaco, rabbit, fox, mountain lion, armadillos, geese and flamingos comprise most of the wildlife in the area.
Camp Located in the Colorado River Valley in the state of Neuquen. Notice the volcano in the far right.
Most of the time I worked in the South, in the Patagonia. Because of the remoteness we were a very independent crew functioning and existing as a small town. We could establish a working camp within 24 hours of arriving to a new location and be fully functional in 28 hours. We had living quarters for surveyors, operation staff, geophysicist team, client, mechanics, vibroseis drivers, electronic technicians, camp staff, medic staff and cook staff. The camp featured running water and heat and was self sufficient in electricity and fuel requirements for all operations. A large portion of this camp had been working as a team for close to four years and were tight nit and efficient.
Vibrators: AHV 321 and AHV 362, weight 60000 lb. Recording system: Input Output (I/O) System II
The terrain allowed for the use of rigid chassis vibrators as a source. These vehicles cover many kilometers a day. Our whole operation revolved around keeping the vibrators moving. Surveying, permitting, and road access was established much in advance. This was a split crew operation, were half the crew worked on the upcoming project. The success of this type of operation depends critically on a good logistical plan. A mistake in food, water or fuel supply brings production to a stand still. Because of the remoteness we evaluated changes to the seismic survey design in the field. A special team of geophysicists in a high tech trailer were able to run UNIX platform software to re-design surveys. Attribute plots such as Fold, Azimuth and Azimuth distributions were created for assessment of changes made in the field.
I worked eight months in southern Argentina moving all over the Patagonia during an El Nino winter. I learned how to manage and motivate people, improvise and change plans on the go. This was a stressful job that offered a steep learning curve. The amount of seismic survey lines completed under these conditions brought on a feeling of great accomplishment. The camaraderie on this crew was the greatest I’ve seen anywhere. We were very remote thus ate, slept, worked, sang and struggled together with such an intensity that time just disappeared. At the end of this long winter as the Patagonia days warmed, I transferred back to the states. January 12, 1998 I arrived to Denver Colorado on a cold and windy day.